View Comments
Picture: Getty Images

UPDATE: This weekend’s soaring temperatures in Perth has prompted a health warning to pool and spa owners as well as beachgoers.

The WA Health Department said this afternoon that pool owners needed to ensure water was properly treated and maintained so swimmers did not develop amoebic meningitis.

Environmental health acting director Richard Theobald said the rare but potentially fatal disease could be contracted when recreational water contaminated with amoeba bugs entered the nose.

“Amoeba thrives in warm water temperatures between 28C and 40C,” Mr Theobald said.

“Pool and spa owners should closely monitor and check chlorine levels are within a safe range.”

He said wading pools should be changed after each use because this water provided the perfect environment for the amoeba to grow.

“Owners using pool covers may also need to check their water more frequently, as the covers may cause water temperatures to rise more quickly,” he said.

Mr Theobald said the risk of amoebic meningitis could be reduced by ensuring pools were kept free of dirt and leaves.

Water chlorine should be tested twice a day.

Surf Life Saving WA is expecting beaches to be packed as Perth weather is forecast to hit 43C and is urging people to take extra care.

It has been a busy start to the Surf Life Saving season since patrols started in October, with 696 rescues, 1207 first-aid treatments and an additional 5827 actions taken to prevent incidents.

There have also been four coastal drowning deaths at unpatrolled spots.

Surf Life Saving WA community safety manager Chris Peck said it was crucial that beach-goers swam between the red and yellow flags, and followed the advice of lifesavers.

He said people also needed to be "beach safe" by supervising children, having aquatic skills, knowing first aid and CPR, and using appropriate safety gear and planning for emergencies.

"It is also vital that in hot conditions beach-goers regularly apply sunscreen, keep hydrated and remember that consumption of alcohol impairs physical responses and decision-making processes, and anyone that has consumed alcohol should not enter the water," Mr Peck said.

All major Perth beaches will be patrolled by Surf Life Saving services and Wesfarmers Lifesaver Jet-Ski teams over the weekend, as well as aerial surveillance between Yanchep and Mandurah by the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter.

Meanwhile, the town of Onslow in the Pilbara region recorded more than 48 degrees on Thursday for the second consecutive day.